HEADLINES

🍁 CDN: Justin Trudeau – Ten Questions And His Answers

Published (February 3, 2016). First appeared in JJL International.

Prime Minister of Canada short list ministers. (Photo: Screen sot PMO website). Alistair Reign News Blog: www.AlistairReignBlog.com). Prime Minister of Canada short list Cabinet ministers. (Photo: Screen Shot PMO website).

Justin Trudeau granted the CBC an interview on Sunday January 31st 2016 where Canada’s Prime Minister had an opportunity to speak directly with ten Canadians. This is a transcript of those conversations with his comments on ten of the most important issues facing everyday Canadians today.

While many have sought to criticize the Prime Minister for a few selected soundbytes, we have opted to print his responses here (unedited) in sufficient detail to qualify the responses that many have accused as being dismissive.

🍁 Providing Assistance to Low Income and/or Middle Class Families

“We looked at three different things that are going to make a difference and they’re not just temporary blips. They’re real shifts. The first one is lowering taxes in that income bracket. The next big one is the CCB, our new child care benefit that actually gives more benefits to the families who need it and that’s real money every month tax-free that is going to help with the cost… The third part is massive investments in infrastructure, working with provinces on their priorities so provinces that need more child care spaces, that’s where we’re going to start working with. Now government can’t do everything but we can certainly give more help than we have been doing in the past.”

🍁 Addressing the Alberta Oilfields and How to Save The Pipeline

“I recognize that, first of all, that for a whole bunch of years recently that Alberta was really driving the Canadian economy and that really benefited us all. And now because of oil prices, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador are going through really tough times and the country is going to be there for you… That means investing in the kinds of things that are going to make a difference. We can’t change oil prices right now but with the challenge in oil prices, a lot of construction workers and engineering firms are ready to bid on municipal projects whether it’s public transit, city upgrades. That can keep people working, get people working. Maybe not as well paid as when the oil prices are high but can keep things moving.

Hopefully oil is gonna start bouncing back but hopefully at the same time, we’re going to be able to diversify the economy. The other thing we need to look at is how we’re actually going to get our resources to market. Unfortunately the past government tried to get this done without looking into environmental oversight and had a really tough time getting those pipelines built… I’ve had this job for ten weeks, the previous guys had ten years and didn’t get it done. So I’m coming at it from a different perspective. Maybe we need to build public trust. Maybe we need to do it properly so that we’re not just focused on getting these built quickly. That we’re getting these built as fast as we can but in a responsible way… Listen. All I know is you are doing the best you can. If you got a job, even not as many hours in a week or weeks in a month that you’d like, hang in there. No matter what happens, natural resources will always be a foundational core element of the Canadian element.”

🍁 Canada’s Role in the Fight against ISIS

“We’re not pulling out of the fight against ISIS. We’re changing our mission, we’re withdrawing the six fighter jets because as great as RCAF fighter pilots are, as extraordinary as they are doing any mission that we ask them to, I think in this situation Canada can best help in other ways… Countries have a lot more jets than just Canadian jets and they’re doing a bombing mission in Iraq and Syria. It’s having a certain amount of positive impact, I am certain, because they’re continuing to do it but it’s not just dropping bombs that is the only thing Canada can do… We are going to do more. We are going to remain an important piece of the coalition fight against ISIL…

On the one hand, we need to make sure our police and security services have the tools needed to go after them… Making sure that security services have the tools that they need while, at the same time, keeping Canada as a free and open society with privacy laws respect and with positive relationships with the community right across the country… There are well over a hundred Canadians who have gone over to fight or who are trying to and that’s a problem. We have to do what we can to keep Canadians safe and to keep our freedoms and liberties in place as well.”

🍁 Addressing the Issue of Murdered Indigenous Women and the Upcoming Inquiry

“Our Indigenous Affair minister is in the consultation process right now to make sure that the public inquiry that we’re going to launch very shortly involves everyone – has space for premiers, has rooms for the provinces, municipalities, and mostly the families. There’s lessons to learn and things that we make sure we do so we get healing for the families and the loved ones, and justice for the victims, and mostly to make sure that no one else’s daughter, sister, or cousin gets to go through this in the future… There are big changes to make institutionally right across the board. The RCMP is a part of it but the politics of government is a big part of it as well. This matters. Indigenous lives matter. The fact that you even have to say that is frustrating to me.”

🍁 Low Wages and an Uncertain Future with a Lack of Pension Security

“Unfortunately there are far too many people in the situation where, through no fault of your own, you go through some really tough times where the work dries up and you have no choice ‘cause you got to put food on the table and support your family, and I totally understand that. That’s why one of the things our government is very serious about is working with the provinces and putting forward plans on pension security because retiring without a pension – or worse retiring into debt – is something that far too many people are facing and it’s something that becomes all of our problem…

There’s a lot of studies that have shown that people are just not able to save compared to what people used to be able to save and that’s where the government does have a role to play and responsibility to make sure that no one is going to retire into poverty. There is no easy solution on this… It is important to work with the provinces and the municipalities to ensure that we are creating all the opportunities we can… We’re making changes to the pension plan and we’re trying to make sure we can give these people all the support we can… This is something that I’m hearing loud and clear, and I’m going to work very hard to make sure we get a better future for you. We’re working very hard on this but there’s no quick fixes on this.”

🍁 Taxing the Wealthy

“I think it comes down to how you define a strong economy and one of the ways that I define a strong economy is the largest number of good jobs for the largest number of people. That’s really what we want to have. So what we chose to do is lower taxes for the middle class, from $45,000 to $89,000, in order to compensate for this, we’re asking for the people who make more than $200,000 in income to pay a little bit more in taxes… This country does well when middle class people have money in their pockets to spend, to grow, and to invest.”

🍁 Addressing No Blacks in the Cabinet and a Lack of Qualified Employment for Immigrants

“We have 30 people who represent a broad range of backgrounds. We have the first Muslim Canadian cabinet minister, a young woman from Afghanistan. We have at least two Parliamentary secretaries who are representatives of the black community. There’s always more to do, there’s always communities you’re going to end up leaving out when you need to create a cabinet that is small but representative of the country… I was in my riding when I met a fellow who said, “When you as a country accepted me here, I was a doctor in Algeria and now I’m here in Canada and I’m not getting, I’m not even getting a path to demonstrate my qualifications.”… The federal government can and will have a level of engagement to make sure that we’re recognizing skills, to give a path to be able to update one’s skills so that you can practice in Canada.”

🍁 The Northwest Passage and Inuit Security Concerns

“The Northwest Passage is Canadian and Canada controls that. How we build the Inuit to Crown relationship recognizing that basic fact and showing the world that we’re ready to care and protect for the Northwest Passage and that people can’t abuse it and run risk what is a very fragile world up there. People think of the north as being tremendously tough – and it is in some ways – but it’s also tremendously fragile and we need to recognize that and do right by it.”

🍁 Addressing Senior Care

“A lot of it is to be worked out with the provinces; to work out expectations surrounding health care, national standards; that’s one of the things we’re gonna need. We need to make sure we’re keeping the focus on empowering our seniors, respecting them, and including them in active community life as much as possible… The math is very simple. To keep someone in a hospital bed for 24 hours compared to providing someone with the full range of care they would need if they stayed at home – it’s ten times cheaper to do it.”

🍁 Student Debt and Unpaid Internships

“We need to be as efficient as possible in making sure that young people do get a path towards meaningful employment. Part of that is going to be doing a better job with co-op programs, responsible internships, ensuring the unpaid internships are not abused… We need to work with universities to make sure that young people have the work opportunities and the capacity to afford to live and to study and to move forward without crippling debt in way that is a level playing field for everyone.”

🔝

JJL International: Justin Trudeau: 10 Canadians, 10 Issues, and 10 Quotes

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